Appeasement activists entitled to freedom, not respect

A few weeks ago, I was conducting an administrative hearing. One of the attorneys couldn’t conduct a proper witness examination and provoked numerous sustained objections (meaning, the attorney was asking improper questions). We were in a break, and given the less formal nature of the proceeding, the hearing officer remained in the room. For about the fourth time that day, the attorney was complaining about the number of sustained objections and how it was lengthening the hearing. Finally, I said, “Objection. Whining.”

If it weren’t for our relativistic times, one could look at the Left and expect consensus about the many less-than-admirable characteristics which define it. The beginning of the liberation of the Iraqi people, otherwise known as the launch of hostilities against the regime of Saddam Hussein, has brought these characteristics – don’t you dare call them “qualities” – in stark relief.

For one, there’s hypocrisy. Witness the estimable Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle, D-S.D. Unwilling to speak a word against the Great Prevaricator’s uses of military force, including ineffectual ones against Iraq, it is only a Republican President pursuing victory who raises his ire. His unbridled advocacy of the use of military force during the Clinton Interregnum turned quickly into what might appear to be feet of clay, were it not for the fact that the White House is now occupied by a Republican. That is, someone who was actually willing to use force to achieve the just end of Iraqi disarmament rather than talk Saddam Hussein to a boring death or, worse yet, launch a few cruise missiles to create a public relations and special effects victory, without actually disarming Iraq.

Daschle’s opposition is merely political opportunism. What’s more, it is obviously so. To be sure, Clinton’s uses of military force might have created the appearance of Democrat toughness, and enabled Daschle and Democrats to obtain or maintain political power. Hence, their utility. But the Bush Administration is actually achieving American goals and disarming Iraq. And since that advances American interests without advancing Democrat power, Daschle opposes it.


And then there’s the Hollywood Left. Like Daschle, these S… er, FOBs (Friends Of Bill) spent the 1990s in awe of their hero, silent even in the face of actions that they now claim to find repugnant. Silent when he rained cruise missiles on Iraq in 1998, during the height of l’affaire Lewinsky. Silent during the non-UN sanctioned actions in Bosnia. Where, oh where, was the pious Martin Sheen when Bill Clinton was using force?

And most of all, there’s the sanctimony of the far Left. A healthy regard for one’s own opinion is, of course, necessary to anyone who publicly expresses an opinion. But the self-righteousness of the anti-war Left goes beyond any reasonable self-esteem and trots boldly into the territory of narcissistic arrogance.

It’s not an uncommon trait among Liberals. After all, they believe that government should be able to invade virtually every element of our lives, except when pregnant women want to kill their unborn children (don’t expect consistency), of course. And if you labor under the belief that a bloated, ever-growing and intrusive government is appropriate and should tell us how to live our lives, well, then, you have to have a pretty high regard for your own opinion to the exclusion of others. It seems easy to slide into contempt and, frequently, simple viciousness.

Witness the protesters so frequently in the news. It has become abundantly clear that these individuals are not anti-war so much as they are anti-George W. Bush and, many, anti-American.

Many have resisted the hyperbole of characterizing the protesters as “anti-American.” Perhaps it’s fear of a charge of “McCarthyism,” even though the most frequent practitioners of guilt by innuendo and speciously-leveled charges in the last 30 years have come from the Left. Perhaps it’s recognition that a rational case can be made against military action in Iraq (as made by some Libertarians, including those at the much-respected Cato Institute), though it has been drowned out by the reflexive and puerile behavior of crypto-Socialist street marchers.

Then there’s the sign from a San Francisco march that read “We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers.” I can’t put it any better than the author of the Web site posting the sign: “Now – take a look at this picture and tell me how much these people love their country. Go ahead, tell me they’re not anti-American.”

It is sanctimony which finds its most capacious home in the Left, for it was such sanctimony which defined my litigation opponent a few weeks ago. So certain was this attorney in the client’s (a union) cause, that it didn’t matter that there was utterly no evidence sustaining the ludicrous theory upon which the union’s case was based. Which is what brings me back to “Objection. Whining.”

You see, it seems that there’s a woman basketball player at Manhattanville College (N.Y.) who hates America or, at least, what she mistakenly believes America to be, and turns away from the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem. It seems that the good fans of the University of Connecticut met her contemptible expression with expressions of contempt for her, and, oh my, her feelings were hurt!

The freedom to speak protected by the First Amendment means one cannot suffer government sanction for expressing opposing views. It does not insulate one from the antipathy and righteous indignation of those who find your views contemptible.

What makes America great is its freedom. Americans have the freedom to believe that Bill Clinton was a great President, that Al Gore really won the 2000 presidential election, that war never solved anything (except slavery, fascism, Naziism and totalitarianism), that Saddam Hussein poses no threat to America or his neighbors and that the Moon is made of green cheese.

But don’t be surprised when the majority of sensible Americans dismiss such views as profoundly misinformed and their holders as contemptible.

An attorney, Young lives with his wife and their two sons in Montclair.

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